The phrase "Rhubarb Diaries" has had a rather intriguing evolution over time. In many ways, it started off as an off-hand commentary (that frankly, made no initial sense to me), but became something that is synonymous with "me".
How did this all come about?
I've been a writer-in-disguise (and musician, and photographer, and ...) for many years. The creative element has always existed in my world - maintaining a fine balance with the left brain, "scientific method" persona of my education and profession. Many of my friends - even those I have known for many years - really have no inkling that that person exists. Of course, I find this rather humorous (and fascinating). I guess it must be that sort of "quiet musician/artist and his work" thing.
At one point, I decided it was time to start sharing more of this creative element with the world. This website (and the book that will evolve within it) is a piece of that puzzle.
The first piece of writing I really shared with anyone was the report of my experiences training for Ironman. The feedback was phenomenal. I then had a discussion with a close friend of mine, John, when I was home in August 2005.
I need to preface this by saying that John has always had a dry sense of humor - which I have always appreciated!
Here is how the conversation goes ...
John: Thanks for sending me that race report. You're a really good writer.
Allan: Thanks! It's going to be the basis for my book someday.
John: Great! A book? That's great. You should call it "The Rhubarb Diaries".
Allan: (thinking "what the hell?") Ummm I don't think I understand.
John: Well, it's kinda like the "Motorcycle Diaries".
Allan: (now thinking that he needs to see "The Motorcycle Diaries", but assumes that John has some clue as to what he is talking about) Ok ... now what about the rhubarb part?
John: Remember when you won the rhubarb at that running race you did here a few years ago?
Allan: (thinking back to a long lost moment) Oh yeah ... funny you'd remembered that! (Yes, I won rhubarb at a running event - only in Brockville, Ontario does a slow 5K get you 3rd place in your age group and a rhubarb plant for your work - or lack thereof I suppose)
... and therein lies the basis for what you read (and see, and hear) on this site.
Now I best get down to watching that movie ...
There were many years in which I truly believed that Hawai'i was probably one of the last places I wanted to visit. Commercialized. A tourist mecca. Haven for newlyweds and the like. Las Vegas of the Pacific -ok, well maybe not quite that bad (and certainly with a whole lot less polyester) ...
Then I made that fateful trip to the Big Island in 2002 - and my life changed forever.
I can look back on it now and chuckle a bit. I went purely for non-metaphysical reasons - to experience the Ironman World Championship (and as a coach no less). It was a short trip, and the intent was, admittedly, far from "self-discovery". But all it took was walking off the plane, onto the tarmac at the airport in Kona - and I knew it was a special place. There is a purity, a vibe, a power that emanates and pervades all existence on the Big Island. It is something that words can't truly describe. It's a bit mystical and other-worldly, but it was definitely something I noticed immediately upon arrival.
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Allan Besselink, PT, Dip.MDT has a unique voice in the world of sport and health care, one that has been defined by his experiences as physiotherapist, mentor, McKenzie practitioner, coach, innovator, author, educator, patient, and athlete. Read more about Allan, contact him, get updates via email, or connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.